Cassandra found Alex outside, “Alex can I talk to you for a little bit?”

“I am about to go on patrol, so if you want to, then you can come along for a little ways.” Alex slung a gun over his shoulder and he picked up a few other items. “I am ready, are you coming?

“Sure,” Cassandra said. She walked off with Alex.

There was a small worn path; it was hard for Cassandra to see it. Alex seemed to know where it was.

“I wanted to thank you for yesterday, for holding my hand during the biopsy.”

“It was no problem; I am glad that it helped to relieve your discomfort,” Alex said as he stepped over a small brush pile.

“Can I ask why you did it? Why you offered to hold my hand?”

“David said that you are family while you are here,” Alex said.

Cassandra was confused. What did that have to do with anything?

“Alex, I do not know what that means, why would that prompt you to offer to hold my hand?”

“David said that you are family. Family protects each other from what harm they can. They comfort when the harm cannot be avoided. Your harm could not be avoided, so the only other option was comfort. You sounded quite distressed over it. George said that he could not hold your hand. That was the only way I could see to help you. So I offered to help ease your pain. Based on the pressure you were putting on my hand your discomfort increased each time he used a fine needle on you. So I am glad that you had an outlet for you to use.”

“Everyone seemed surprised that you offered,” Cassandra said.

“It is good to be surprising at times,” Alex said. “David was surprising last night. I was surprised that he went to you in the car and gave you a hug. That was quite unlike him.”

“Alex, sometimes you talk like you are human, at others you sound very much like a machine. QT even sounds like she is human at times.”

“It is all because of the choices that we have made. I have chosen to be more machine like because that is how I figure that I can best protect my family. Even my body has been designed to maximize my ability for strength and speed. I have chosen to be the muscle in this family.”

“Why would you need to do that? You live here, it is quite secluded. How will anyone find you?” Cassandra asked.

“They found us in our other locations, before we moved here and went off the grid. There is no mail, no deliveries, and no phone calls, nothing other than the internet that is connected to the outside world. So, there is always a chance that they will be able to find us again. Now that David has acted the probability that they will be looking for us has increased.”

“Sorry, he only acted because of me.”

“Do not be sorry, we have been pushing for him to act sooner. If it had not been a life or death matter with you, then he might not have made a decision. It is about time he break out of the mindset he was in and act.”

“But I am now a risk to you all.”

“You are family now; it is well worth the risk.”

“I am just a liability, I serve no purpose.”

“You could offer your services as a human to QT. Then you would have a purpose.”